Jessica Bachman, a PhD student in South Asian history at the University of Washington, started the Bollywood and Bolsheviks oral history project as part of her doctoral research. Her dissertation will explore the development of East-South cultural and literary relations during the height of the Cold War. Bachman was granted a Mellon Fellowship for Public Projects in the Humanities in 2016 by UW’s Simpson Center for the Humanities to conduct the oral history interviews now made available on this website. Her other academic interests include critical development studies, the history of migration in the Bengal region, urban history, and public scholarship. She received her M.A. in International Studies with a specialization in South Asia from the University of Washington and her B.A. in Russian Language and Literature at Georgetown University. Prior to her entry into the world of academia, she worked as a journalist in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and Bangalore, India, reporting for Thomson Reuters, the Economist, Time, and other publications. She continues to publish in the popular press and conducts research in Russian, Bengali, Hindi, French, English, and Portuguese.
Emma Hinchliffe is a PhD candidate at the University of Washington. She produced Bollywood and Bolsheviks’ original documentary films. She is both a historian and a film maker and is passionate about the value of using film as a tool for doing history. She received her Ba from the University of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom, her masters from the University of Washington and also took part in The One Year Film-making Comprehensive at the Northwest Film Forum in Seattle. Emma has just started work on her dissertation, entitled Henry VIII and the material manifestation of worldly kingship, a project which blends her two passions. The project will include a documentary/digital simulation of Henry’s court alongside the traditional written thesis in an attempt to allow viewers to ‘witness’ Henry’s worldly image in a way that is more akin to his contemporaries experiences. Emma’s ultimate career goal is to run her own non-fiction media company that specializes in historical programming.
This project received generous financial assistance from the following organizations at the University of Washington: The South Asian Center; The Ellison Center for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies; and University Libraries; The Center for Global Studies; the College of Arts and Sciences; and the departments of Slavic Languages & Literature, Comparative History of Ideas, and Comparative Literature, Cinema & Media. Outside sponsors include Tasveer, the Seattle-based cultural organization that runs the world’s largest South Asian film festival.